J.D Okhai Ojeikere is widely regarded as one of the greatest 20th century African photographers. The Hairstyles series began in 1968, driven by Ojeikere’s desire to document the many different types and meanings of hairstyles worn by Nigerian women.
The elaborately sculpted hair of female African models is captured in meticulous detail through beautifully composed black and white photography. The series simultaneously celebrates hairstyling as a transient artwork and forms an extensive visual archive reflecting Nigerian cultural traditions. Ojeikere elevates hair design from fashion to a fine art form through celebrating their intricate patterns, sculptural qualities, and abstraction.
However, the exhibition is about much more than hairstyles, African fashion photography, Nigeria coming to terms with itself with a post-colonial optimism, the inter-relationship between Western and African portrait photography, the challenge to black objectification in photography, these are themes which seep through the exhibition, making it one of the important exhibitions people should make a effort to go and see.
J.D. OKHAI OJEIKERE: HAIRSTYLES AND HEADDRESSES
27 SEPTEMBER 2014 – 11 JANUARY 2015
Main Gallery, New Art Exchange, 39-41 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, NG7 6BE
Tel 0115 924 8630